Turkey's President Directly Appoints Rector to Istanbul's Bogazici University

Updated: May 1, 2019

On November 12, 2016, Mehmed Özkan was directly appointed rector to Istanbul’s prestigious Bogazici University by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, marking the first such move after the president was given authority to directly appoint rectors following the latest state of emergency decree.

Former rector Gülay Barbarosoğlu announced she will end her academic career.

“I’m leaving the university that I’ve contributed to as a student, academic, and a director for 40 years. I’m also ending my academic career,” Barbarosoğlu said in a statement on November 12 as she thanked her coworkers and students.

“I’m sure that Boğaziçi University will maintain its existence in the future with the help of its history, tradition, principles and outstanding cadre,” she added.

The new rector Mehmed Özkan is a professor in the university’s biomedical engineering department.

The power to directly appoint rectors without having to consider the preferences of academics was given to the president after the imposition of a state of emergency decree on October 29, 2016.

In a press release more than 350 academics at the university denounced the changes, recalling that the university appointed its rector on July 12, 2016 when the well-known Gülay Barbarosoğlu was reelected.

The regulation brings an end to a practice introduced in 1992, which